Santa Claus

 

The modern day persona of Santa Claus is an amalgamation of the much older English tradition of Father Christmas and various historical and legendary figures including Saint Nicholas (Bishop of Myra), Odin, and other European folklore. Many countries also share similar traditions of a benevolent elderly figure that gives presents to children on a special day: Ded Moroz (Russia), Joulupukki (Finland), and even Amu Nowruz (Iran). In sculpting my version of this holiday legend, I decided on a more realistic take on Father Christmas with less belly fat and a tamer beard compared to the commercialized image of Santa. His gift sack serves as a candy bowl, just the right size for some Hershey's Kisses. My thanks again to the Ceramic Art Studio and Shop for helping me get this ready in time for Christmas 2018.

 

Santa Claus

 

Santa Claus

 

Santa Claus

 

Santa Claus

 

Santa Claus

 

Santa Claus

 

Santa Claus

 

Santa Claus

 

Santa Claus

Wet clay model

Pallas Athena

 

Athena is the Greek goddess of wisdom, handicraft, and warfare, and often referred to as Pallas Athena. Both her and her Roman counterpart Minerva are typically portrayed with a spear, a Gorgoneion in the form of a shield with Medusa's head, and a helmet resting atop her head. Occasionally Athena is shown wielding a sword, which also happens to be more ceramic friendly than a spear. I had originally considered sculpting Wonder Woman in battle gear but realized that aside from the tiara, Diana of Themyscira and Athena with a sword are pretty much the same thematically. Similar to my Victory of Samothrace, I decided to use a light acrylic wash instead of ceramic glaze to emulate an aged patina on ancient marble look. My thanks again to the Ceramic Art Studio and Shop.

 

Pallas Athena

 

Pallas Athena

 

Pallas Athena

 

Pallas Athena

 

Pallas Athena

 

Pallas Athena

 

Pallas Athena

 

Pallas Athena

 

Pallas Athena

Wet clay model 

 

Spike Spiegel

 "I'm not going there to die. I'm going to find out if I'm really alive."

 

I recently completed a second binge viewing of Cowboy Bebop's 26 episodes (and movie) and thought that Spike Spiegel, the main protagonist of the series, would make for a cool and interesting ceramic sculpture. In researching Spike's creation by Shinichirō Watanabe and Toshihiro Kawamoto, I learned that his appearance was primarily based on the main protagonist of Tantei Monogatari, portrayed by the famous Japanese actor Yusaku Matsuda. Bruce Lee was clearly another influence, as Spike's physique and fighting style were modeled after the late Jeet Kune Do founder. (Incidentally, Bruce Lee is on my list of subjects to sculpt - one of these days.) My version of Spike is an imagining of what he would be as an actual person, sans the anime's exaggerated features. In hindsight, plain acrylic paint may have been a better choice over ceramic glaze which I ironically sourced from two different ceramics shops (Miami and in San Francisco) for the right color for his suit. (My thanks again to the Ceramic Art Studio and Shop.)

 

Spike Spiegel

 

Spike Spiegel

 

Spike Spiegel

 

Spike Spiegel

 

Spike Spiegel

 

Spike Spiegel

 

Spike Spiegel

 

Spike Spiegel

Bisque fired model

Giraffe Calf

 

The giraffe (Giraffa), is the tallest living land animal, and one of the most visually distinct creatures, making them instantly recognizable and a favorite of children and adults alike. Their closest living relative is the Okapi, which superficially resemble a half giraffe, half zebra. Despite their improbably long necks, they have the same number of vertebrae (neck bones) as all mammals. I've been meaning to sculpt a giraffe for a while but could not figure out how to sculpt a piece with a high center of gravity with long, thin legs - until I came across a photo of Amelia, a newborn female calf at the Riverbanks Zoo in Columbia, South Carolina earlier this year. This piece is loosely based on that photo with some liberty taken on the spot patterns. My thanks again to the Ceramic Art Studio and Shop.

 

Giraffe Calf

 

Giraffe Calf

 

Giraffe Calf

 

Giraffe Calf

 

Giraffe Calf

 

Giraffe Calf

Wet clay model

 Spider-Man

"With great power comes great responsibility."

 

Spider-Man made his first appearance in Amazing Fantasy #15 on June 5, 1962. While the historical facts of exactly who was responsible for creating Spider-Man when and how have been mired in conflicting anecdotes, there is little debate as to the significance of the contributions by Stan Lee and artist Steve Ditko on the most recognized and beloved hero within the Marvel Universe, if not the entire superhero genre. Through a collaborative process known as the "Marvel Method," Ditko created the iconic costume and some of Spider-Man's unique powers, and Lee penned humanism into a hero defined by extraordinary but universally relatable situations. As Lee said, "What I like about the costume is that anybody reading Spider-Man in any part of the world can imagine that they themselves are under the costume. And that’s a good thing."

As an artist, it's hard for me to imagine what my life would have been without Stan Lee's contributions, arguably without whom the Marvel Universe and the superhero genre would not have flourished or even survived for that matter. The captivating modern-day mythologies with heroes like Spider-Man gave me an outlet to hone my drawing skills at an early age. I even remember decorating my very first Easter Egg with Spider-Man's mask, but I digress... The most challenging aspect of this ceramic sculpture was finding the right colors. Part of me didn't mind using an antique gold bronze like my Thor, Batman, and Superman, but a solid, bronze type look just didn't feel right for our acrobatic, friendly neighborhood web slinger. After fruitlessly searching for the perfect red and blue shades of glaze, I finally decided to use an acrylic wash over a black oxide underglaze for the optimum effect (also mimicking how classic comic books were first inked and then colored). Nuff said... Excelsior!!!   (My thanks again to the Ceramic Art Studio and Shop.)

 

Spider-Man

 

Spider-Man

 

Spider-Man

 

Spider-Man

 

Spider-Man

 

Spider-Man

 

Spider-Man

 

Spider-Man

 

Spider-Man

 

Spider-Man

Wet clay model